Email Comes In Third In Driving Online Purchases, Study Finds

Email ranks third among channels in affecting purchase decisions, according to Shopper Motives & Preferences in a Digital-First World, a study by Bluecore. 

Of the consumers polled, 48%% rate email as four or five on ascending scale, with 16% saying it is the most impactful channel. 

Word of mouth is rated first, with 68% giving it a four or five, and online ads coming in second, with 49%.

Email is followed by mail pamphlet/catalog (40%), influencer (35%), pop-up store (34%), coverage in publications (34%), celebrity (30%) and out-of-home ads (30%).  In addition, email ranks highly with 47% of people up to age 45, and 40% of those above 45.  

Overall, 44% of females like email, versus 68% who cite word of mouth and 46% online ads. 

In contrast, 46% of males rate email as impactful, but 68% specify word-of-mouth and 53% cite online ads. At the same time, 52% rate celebrities as having low impact, and 42% say the same about influencers. 



The picture changes slightly when consumers are asked which channels influence trying a new brand: 

  • Word of mouth — 25%
  • Online ads — 23%
  • Influencer — 12%
  • Email — 9%
  • Celebrity — 8% 

Shoppers cite these incentives as most likely to sway online purchase behavior: 

  • Free shipping — 61%
  • Percentage off — 27%
  • Membership benefits — 6%
  • Referral rewards — 5% 
  • Other — 2%

Younger consumers are most attracted to percent-off incentives and least to free shipping, but all age groups put the latter benefit first.  

Meanwhile, a third of all shoppers surveyed are favorably influenced by an in-home testing period. 

Bluecore surveyed 1,005 U.S. shoppers. 


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